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Bank Of America Settles With Lesbians Denied Mortgage

BoasignThe Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that Bank of America has settled a discrimination claim filed by a Florida lesbian couple denied a mortgage because they're not legally married, something they can't do in Florida.

This is the first time HUD's new rules prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people, particularly those who are unable to get married.

Details about the claim from HUD:

HUD claimed BOA denied a loan to a Florida couple seeking to obtain an FHA-insured mortgage because of their sexual orientation and marital status.  Because one partner was not employed, the applicant enlisted her partner’s mother as a co-applicant on the loan. The couple worked with BOA for several weeks to provide all of the necessary loan application documents and the couple was assured by BOA that they were likely to receive a mortgage.

One business day prior to closing, BOA denied the mortgage because it did not consider the loan applicant and the co-applicant directly related because the applicant and her partner were not married. As a result of BOA’s actions, the couple was not able to close on the loan.

BOA will pay HUD $7,500 for its violation and has agreed to inform all mortgage agents of the new rules.

HUD General Counsel Helen Kanovsky said the "agreement demonstrates that HUD will vigorously enforce its Equal Access rule and pursue lenders that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status."

She went on, "By the same token, BOA should be commended for stepping up and taking immediate corrective action after HUD notified BOA of the violation."

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  1. BOA are as sleazy as they get. The banking, mortgage and real estate industries don't get any sleazier,actually. And of course our government with public money enables their disreputable business model.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 2, 2013 2:35:17 PM

  2. Eh, BoA has always had the worst service. They're terrible even by major bank standards. I think the only reason anyone banks with them is that the name.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Jan 2, 2013 3:05:55 PM

  3. Important point: It's the Obama administration's HUD that set up the rule that says banks can't discriminate against us in mortgages. So we owe a big thank you for this one.

    DOMA (and not having ENDA) still creates all sorts of legal and financial hurdles for us. But Obama has done a number of small things, like this HUD reg, whereever DOMA doesn't get in the way. Until SCOTUS overturns Section 3 of DOMA (though the current suits won't help in Florida), or Congress repeals the law (not likely as long as Republicans control the House and can filibuster the Senate), these regs help.

    Posted by: K in VA | Jan 2, 2013 3:11:15 PM

  4. 7500? That's it? Each side probably wasted that much on legal fees to begin with.

    Posted by: David | Jan 2, 2013 3:38:16 PM

  5. RATBASTARD, I personally think that Chase Bank is sleazier than BOA, and by far.

    It is common to close a loan app late in the cycle with a rejection, that is the biggest reason one should get pre-approved so that one mortgage company does not get to decide what house you are NOT going to buy. Needless to say that does not make what they did right, they could have looked at the loan app to see the facts that they rejected this couple on and done it the same day.

    Posted by: Pup | Jan 2, 2013 4:52:25 PM

  6. Where does it say that the couple got the loan? Or got A loan? Or that BOA has to provide such loans? Based on the quote, it only sounds like BOA has to tell people up front that they WON'T get a loan.

    Posted by: Unclear | Jan 3, 2013 5:30:09 AM

  7. BOA can be truly awful. But I have to say one positive thing about them, since it's the ONLY positive thing I could ever say about them, When my partner died five years ago, I was on the deed but not on the mortgage, as the house was bought in the one year I was ever out of a job. They could easily have called for full payment of the rest of the loan and they started to give me hell when it was discovered that the house had transferred to me but I was sent the property tax bill directly instead of them getting it, but they had me send death certificates as well as a copy of my POA papers, and simply changed the name of the loan to "The Estate of ______________, Nelson _________ executor" and left all terms the same.
    The rest of their service - Appalling.

    Posted by: Nelson | Jan 3, 2013 7:44:47 AM

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